Will older people in Odisha need 3rd COVID-19 jab? Top official clears air

Bhubaneswar: Older people may need a third vaccine dose in countries where the ‘Delta’ COVID-19 variant (B.1.617.2 ), first identified in India, is prevalent, says a report published  in The Lancet journal.

The report based on the findings of a team of scientists from the UK suggests that delta variant,  which is 50% more contagious than the Alpha strain (first found in the UK) and responsible for the devastating second wave of the pandemic in the country,  possibly brings a dual challenge of reduced vaccine efficacy as well as increased transmission.

Now the report has unfolded speculations among people in Odisha regarding third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. However, Directorate of Medical Educational and Training (DMET) Chief Dr CBK Mohanty has cleared the air.

Speaking to mediapersons here, the top official today said the Lancet report on third vaccine dose to older people is related to the efficacy of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2). The study did not look at the efficacy of other vaccines.

“Both Covishield and Covaxin have succeeded in combatting the delta variant effectively.  Even, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has not yet recommended for third vaccine dose to older people,” he added.

Welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on free vaccination of people aged above 18 years, the DMET Chief said distribution of vaccines will depend on the supply of the same to the state by the Centre.

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